Monday, January 6, 2014

Doing Exactly What You're Supposed to Do: Artist Shelley Brant

The holidays have been full of surprises! The new year has started full of promises for a wonderful and productive 2014.

To begin with, the new direction for this blog is included in the new logo title: "The Moon from My Attic ~ My Life as a Designer & Artist." I will publish more articles about design, photography, fine arts, illustration, DYI and crafting, as artists are working across multiple trades and more are now expanding their reach into other creative industries in addition to art licensing.

The show is on - Happy New Year everyone!!

Artist Shelley Brant
To start the new year with a bang, we interviewed artist Shelley Brant.

The Moon from My Attic: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art? I'm currently operating a studio called Figgy Pudding Designs that provides whimsical digital artwork for products in the gift, craft, seasonal and home decor markets.

I grew up and attended college in Iowa, where I received a BA in fine art. I went on to wade through a variety of art related jobs like screen printing, paper printing, teaching and advertising until I landed a gig in Dallas, Texas illustrating digital embroidery designs. I worked there for over 12 years and have unofficially drawn every object under the sun. I did marker and colored pencil drawings in every theme and style imaginable and estimate that I produced over 24,000 4" by 4" designs during that time. Talk about honing your skills!

When I wasn’t drawing, I was crafting. Then one day I stumbled upon an ad for a product designer at Michael's corporate offices. It's as though I had been preparing for that job this whole time. I spent 4 years with Michael's and learned a ton about manufacturing, design and the business side of the craft industry.

I attended Surtex every year to help purchase artwork and in April of last year decided to take the plunge, resign from my position and show at Surtex myself. Figgy Pudding has become a culmination of all of the work, drawing, crafting and creating I've done over the years. I couldn't be happier with the direction it's headed and am super excited to wake up and get to work every day. I finally feel like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.

TMFMA: What is exciting about your creative work? I'm steering the ship! If I feel like crafting one day, that's what I do; if I have a new drawing style I wanna try out, I do it. I have more ideas than time and being in control of my own schedule has allowed me to really put on the rocket boosters. Every day is different; that in itself is very exciting to me!

TMFMA: What's your favorite medium or tool you create with? Everything I do for Figgy Pudding is done in Illustrator. As a product designer that has worked with a variety of purchased art, some good and some not so easy to work with, I want to supply clean vector art that's easy to alter and adjust to suit a number of different uses. I also love to paint and will forever be hot gluing, sewing, cutting, and crafting.

TMFMA: Tell us of a fun and creative project you're currently working on. I'm currently working with some overseas manufacturers. I help them understand trends and design for an American consumer. Art direction has always been a very daunting process to me because I feel as though design is such a subjective thing, who am I to say what's good or bad? I feel like I'm learning with every assignment and the research and development involved have been invaluable to my growth as a designer as a whole. Sometimes analyzing and researching colors and trends and new products feels like it takes too much time when you'd rather just get to drawing- but it's something you must do to make sellable art.

TMFMA: What's your art licensing experience and how do you like it so far? It's been great! There are so many resources and the community of people involved are so open to sharing experiences. You can plan and research all you want but until you start, you'll never know what you don't know. I've learned more in the last 8 months than I ever imagined I would.

TMFMA: What are your future aspirations and goals? I just want to enjoy every day. I want to be inspired and challenged and proud of what I produce. Wherever the road leads in order to do that is where I'll go.

Figgy Pudding will be showing at Surtex in May, booth #1015.
Shelley says, "Stop by and say hi!"

See more of Shelley's work at:

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